Your medical practice may be very healthy but did you know that you can improve its health by successfully using social media?
There are several reasons why your medical practice should leverage social media using sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+, sites that can be a big benefit to your practice.
As the following article looks at, among the 4 reasons your medical practice must leverage social media are:
1. Cost-effective communication with patients.
Social media is free and geared towards anyone being able to use it, so it's a simple and inexpensive way for medical practices to keep in touch with patients. Encourage patients to like your Facebook page and to sign up to your Twitter feed and you will be able to instantly update them on news about your practice and any new services you offer.
2. Share accurate medical data.
Many people turn to the internet for medical advice and much of it is not verified; for example the scare relating to a supposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism was widely shared online and the link was later debunked. Through social media, you can post information that you have verified in order to keep your patients properly informed on medical issues.
3. Network with other health care professionals.
Social media is a great way to share information with other health care professionals. Other doctors, researchers and nurses can share experiences and information with you through social media pages that you could set up specifically for them.
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4. Good publicity for your medical practice.
Being on social media is especially useful when it comes to building an online presence. Social media also helps medical practices gain referrals. Patients are most likely to choose a practice that they have seen good reviews of and that they have been able to research through search engines. If you have a strong and positive social media presence, you help your practice to stand out from the rest.
Note about confidentiality
You may worry about confidentiality of medical information when using social media.
Safeguard against this by placing a disclaimer on your social media sites clearly outlining how you expect people to conduct themselves.
Also, assign a member of staff or hire a consultant to police your pages to block any sensitive content being shared.
Today's patient is tech-savvy and plugged into social media so it makes sense for today's medical practices to take full advantage of all that social media has to offer.
If you ensure confidentiality issues are properly dealt with and you make sure your social media pages are monitored, then you are on your way to enjoying richer relationships with current and new patients.
About the author: Nicola Gordon-Thaxter is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including health care.